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Monday, August 20, 2012

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St. Bernard

Ezekiel 24:15-24
Deuteronomy 32:18-21
Matthew 19:16-22

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teen challenge

"The young man said to" Jesus... —Matthew 19:20

When we give our lives to Jesus and leave behind the world and its pleasures, we will only have one regret — that we didn't do it sooner. Our lives are unfulfilled until we live them for Jesus. Therefore, when a young man or woman accepts the call to follow Christ, it's an even greater reason for rejoicing.

When we see young people, we should offer them an opportunity to live a free, meaningful, happy, and eternal life by following Jesus. We should encourage young people not to delay their conversion to the Lord (Sir 5:8). Every day they wait is unfulfilled.

Jesus didn't entertain the young man who came to Him. He didn't involve the young man in a sports program, dance, or car wash. Instead Jesus challenged the young man to sell his possessions, give to the poor, and follow Him (Mt 19:21). Jesus didn't treat the young man like a child, but like an adult. He respected him enough to tell him the truth point-blank.

Jesus didn't water down His message to appeal to the young man's self-interest, but challenged the youth and appealed to the power of His own grace. Many of our youth programs obviously have not been very effective. Why not give Jesus' challenge to young people?

Prayer:  Father, fill our churches with young people as their hearts are filled with love for Jesus.

Promise:  "You will then have treasure in heaven." —Mt 19:21

Praise:  When St. Bernard joined the Cistercians, he brought in his five brothers, two uncles, and thirty friends to join him in this religious order.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Developing A Deep, Personal Relationship with Jesus on audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 30, 2012

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